When I first heard about the TheNotMom.com, I thought, “What a great idea.” A place where you can share thoughts, ideas and resources.
Frankly, I know lots of women who don’t have children. Well, the truth is, at first I thought I had just a handful of childless friends. Then, I started to compile a list of the women who I know over the age of 30 who don’t have children. The list started to get long. So far it’s about 25. I tried to find some common denominators: What do these women have in common, other than they’re my friends and they don’t have any children?
Today’s Guest Post is by: Kim Fox (Ohio University BSC ’87, MA ’03). She’s currently working in the Journalism and Mass Communication (JRMC) department at The American University in Cairo (AUC) in Egypt. She teaches Multimedia Writing and Audio Production. She’s also Kaleshia’s Mom.
The only thing that I came up with is that they’re all college educated; they all have at least a Bachelor’s degree. Of course, that educational similarity had me a bit perplexed until I came across this 2010 study from the Pew Research Center. It reveals: More college educated women are not having children.
I’m always a bit leery about studies because I need to know to source of the stats; the year the stats were obtained? Etc. Pew’s a reputable organization. However, the stats are from 2008 and at the end of day, I certainly hope it’s not an issue of being educated OR bringing a life into this world.
But honestly, I did begin to think of the reasons why some of my friends don’t have children.
Out of curiosity, I’ve tried to answer that question without being invasive and outright asking them. Obviously, the reasons could be private. What I do know is that the reasons are diverse. For example, some haven’t found the right mate, or it’s possible that they’ve waited too long. Another friend had been trying with intense effort to get pregnant over the past year, but so far it hasn’t panned out.
I’ve only met a handful of women and couples who intentionally don’t have any children. I can recall a former co-worker and his wife who flat out admitted their selfishness –- they wanted to dote on one another in addition to traveling extensively. They felt that having children would get in the way of their dreams and adventures. So, they never had children. However, I haven’t been in touch with them to see if that’s still the case today.
And here’s an interesting account: I have a friend who’s always said that she didn’t want to have children and then she started dating a guy who felt the same way. Perfect, right? Not so fast. They’ve now started to ‘discuss’ the option of having children. And it’s true, they’ll make incredible parents, but why the change of heart and mind? They say it’s their comfort and confidence in one another that has them rethinking the childless option.
A few of my “NotMom” friends are actually interested in being a parent and they’re considering adoption. One of my high school classmates recently received full custody of her adopted daughter, and she’s now a single parent. Which brings me to my next point.
Not surprisingly, some of the women I know who don’t have children are also not married. It’s possible that some people will chalk up not being married and not having children as a challenge during these difficult economic times. Though according to this infographic, for most expenses, there’s not much of a cost differentiation between married couples without children and married couples with kids.
So much for my former co-worker and his wife’s position on this topic. (Again, I’m skeptical of that info since the source is in fine print and it’s hard to read.)
Regardless of any statistics, women who’ve wanted to have children, but end up without them probably already know that they’re a significant part of a larger familial picture by being exceptional aunts and godmothers. Isn’t that a blessing? Filling up the nieces and nephews with popsicles and candy and then returning them to their rightful parents?
Brings me to my original thought about TheNotMom.com: “What a great idea.”